Complications of pediatric elbow dislocations and monteggia fracture-dislocations

Instr Course Lect. 2015;64:493-8.


Pediatric elbow dislocations and Monteggia lesions are prone to acute and chronic complications. A pediatric patient's cartilaginous and unossified distal humerus contributes to the risks of inaccurate diagnoses resulting from the misinterpretation of findings on plain radiographs. The debate continues regarding the amount of acceptable displacement for medial epicondyle fractures. In contrast, the radial head should always point directly to the capitellum. Chronic complications include instability and arthritis. Instability, which can be subtle and difficult to diagnose, can occur in the medial or the posterolateral direction, depending on the injured stabilizer. Restoration of stability remains the mainstay of treatment. Pediatric traumatic arthritis is extremely difficult to manage with surgery because of the limited number of reliable treatment options.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis / etiology*
  • Child
  • Elbow Joint*
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations / complications*
  • Joint Instability / etiology*
  • Monteggia's Fracture / complications*